DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - Ciylaia Dew is a busy mother of 3, now at home full-time, after serving as a Palm Springs Police officer, and after serving in the Marine Corps with her husband David, who is still on active duty, serving as a Gunnery Sergeant, and now completing a communications class at the base in 29 Palms.
"We've done nothing but serve our country and community, the fact that they're not able to work with us on something as simple as this is disheartening," said Dew.
In late August, while preparing to move the family overseas for David's three to four year assignment in Japan, Dew says they received an unexpected bill from their homeowner's association, where they live at Mission Lakes Country Club in Desert Hot Springs, informing the couple they owed the HOA $1,930.48.
"They had 2 years to notify us of the payments, they didn't, and they waited until one month before we have to leave the country," said Dew.
Dew says when they purchased their condo, with cash, in July 2017, they set up paying their monthly HOA fee of $220 dollars, using automatic debit.
But, the veteran says, without receiving notification from the HOA, and not discovering it until late August, that their monthly HOA fees in January 2018 increased to $240 a month, and in January 2019, went up to $288 a month.
"We did everything we could to pay everything on time, and we just weren't notified," said Dew.
The bill they now face, includes $1,055 in "late charges", interest, and "management fees", and $875 is for the increases in monthly HOA fees dating back to January 2018, which dew says they can afford to pay, and are willing to pay.
Dew says they received a letter from the attorney for the HOA, informing them that if they don't pay the amount due by September 23rd, that a lien would be placed on their condo.
Dew says the financial relief they are asking for may not be a lot of money to some people.
But for a family of five, living on a modest military income, even a small amount can make a big difference.
"Basically we want it to be resolved," said Dew.
WhiteStar Management in Rancho Mirage manages Mission Lakes Country Club, and the company's president commented on the Dew's case.
"After being made aware of the Dew family's situation, we are working with the Board of Directors to do as much as we can to help the family while at the same time making sure that all members of the association are being treated equally," said Patrick Belous.
More: I-Team investigations
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